Aurora -- When the Aurora baseball team split a doubleheader on a beautiful 70-degree and sunny afternoon against Solon, it was all about pitching.
Moving to 6-2 overall as the schedule toughens, the Greenmen lost the first game 5-3 and won the nightcap 3-0 on April 12, as senior hurler Luke Calcei continued his mastery on the mound.
Calcei got the win with a complete-game shutout as the southpaw scattered seven hits to move to 2-0. He has a sparkling earned run average of 0.63.
"Luke got us the split with a very good outing and we have said it before, but he is a very crafty pitcher," said head coach Tim Deering.
"He doesn't throw really hard, but he did a great job of locating his fastball and he knows how to pitch to good hitters. He is very efficient."
Aurora lost the first game, as Solon starter Mitch Sutyak held the Greenmen offense in check. The 6-foot-3, 245-pounder got the win, while Aurora sophomore A.J. Kimes was tagged with the loss.
In last week's Chagrin Valley Conference opening games against Orange, the Greenmen split to enter this week's action at 1-1. Pitching also keyed those two games.
Landon Slomovitz tossed a 3-hitter against as Orange won 2-1, and then the Greenmen bounced back the next day (April 10) on the road with a 6-0 verdict as sophomore Adam Long fired a gem.
"Adam has come along very well and is throwing a nice fastball, and he's doing a great job," said Deering. "He has thrown some nice games, and our pitchers overall are getting stronger."
Aurora is scheduled to be in action today (April 16) at home against Lakewood St. Edward. The squad also is scheduled to play a doubleheader at Uniontown Lake on April 19.
In the 3-0 win over Solon, the Greenmen plated two key runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Senior Tom Branstein had two runs batted in off Comet pitcher Matt Bloom. Junior first baseman Carter Semancik had an infield RBI.
The Greenmen showed again they can manufacture runs as senior Kirk Janoch went from first base to third on a wild pickoff attempt by Solon.
Meanwhile, the win over Orange was keyed by senior Griff Petersen and his pair of doubles, an RBI and a run scored. Petersen was 2 for 3 overall.
Tossing a 3-hitter, Long moved to 2-0 with three strikeouts. Freshman Ben Stawicki had a double, an RBI and a run scored.
Slomovitz threw a 3-hitter and struck out five batters in the Orange win over Aurora. The Greenmen drew five walks, but couldn't generate much offense.
"Slomovitz is a real nice pitcher, and we were one hit away from breaking it up, but we couldn't get that hit," Deering explained.
Ryan Willen had two RBI to pace Orange as Janoch got the loss and is 1-1 this year.
"We just need to keep trying to manufacture runs and get the bats going more," Deering said.
SOFTBALL SQUAD WINS
Head coach Jenna Micale saw her softball squad post its first victory of the season, 12-1, over Parma Heights Valley Forge on April 11. It was only the second game the team had played so far this year. Promising sophomore pitcher Liz Kimson earned her first varsity win.
The team was scheduled to play April 9 at Chagrin Valley Conference opponent Perry, but no results were reported. The squad is slated to host Cuyahoga Heights today (April 16), travel to Twinsburg on April 17 and host Akron Hoban for a doubleheader April 19. A league game against Kenston is slated for April 22.